UCT CS Research Document Archive

High-Level Control of Agent-based Crowds by means of General Constraints

Jacka, David (2009) High-Level Control of Agent-based Crowds by means of General Constraints. MSc, Department of Computer Science, University of Cape Town.

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The use of virtual crowds in visual eects has grown tremendously since the warring armies of virtual orcs and elves were seen in The Lord of the Rings. These crowds are generated by agent-based simulations, where each agent has the ability to reason and act for itself. This autonomy is eective at automatically producing realistic, complex group behaviour but leads to problems in controlling the crowds. Due to interaction between crowd members, the link between the behaviour of the individual and that of the whole crowd is not obvious. The control of a crowd's behaviour is, therefore, time consuming and frustrating, as manually editing the behaviour of individuals is often the only control approach available. This problem of control has not been widely addressed in crowd simulation research.

We propose, implement and test a system in which a user may control the behaviour of a crowd by means of general constraints. This Constraint Satisfaction system automatically alters the behaviour of the individuals in the crowd such that the group behaviour meets the provided constraints. We test this system on a number of scenarios involving dierent types of agents and compare the effectiveness of this automatic system to an expert user manually changing the crowd. We find our method of control, in most cases, to be at least as effective as the expert user.

EPrint Type:Electronic Thesis or Dissertation
Keywords:crowd simulation, visual effects, directing crowds
Subjects:J Computer Applications: J.8 MISCELLANEOUS
ID Code:638
Deposited By:Jacka, David
Deposited On:29 November 2010